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Radar Coverage Tool

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When selecting the preferred location for a radar, consideration must be given to the expected radar coverage and potential blind spots at the location. What will the radar be able to see given the proposed location, height and local terrain? Cambridge Pixel's Radar Coverage Tool is a simple application that provides a visual display of radar coverage for different target heights.


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Radar Coverage

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission terrain data is used to calculate the radar visibility. This dataset covers latitudes between 60.395 degrees North and 56.0 degrees South, with a resolution of approximately 90m.

Radar Parameters

The position and height of the radar are specified, together with the end range, top beam angle and bottom beam angle. Targets that would be above or below the beam are deemed not to be visible.

The units used to display heights and distances may be toggled between "Metric" (metres for height and distance) and "Feet, NM" (feet for height and nautical miles for distance).

Radar and Target Modelling

The SPx Radar Coverage Tool is not a modelling tool. It does not use target cross-section and radar characteristics to predict detection. It uses line-of-sight processing to consider whether a target is potentially visible to the radar based on the beam of the radar, height of the radar and target and presence of terrain.

Target Heights

Multiple target heights may be specified with each height being assigned a colour. The transparency of the first colour used is configurable, with the other colours being gradually more transparent as they represent higher target heights. The areas on the map shown in this colour are where targets at the associated height would be line-of-sight visible to the radar, and within the top and bottom beam angles. Target heights may be specified as above sea level or above local ground level.

Underlay Map

The SPx Radar Coverage tool displays coverage information overlaid on an OpenStreetMap view. A snapshot of the current view may be saved to an image file using the "Save Screenshot…" button.

  • Easy selection of radar position:
    • Enter lat/long directly
    • Click on high-resolution map
  • Direct input of radar height
  • Map and terrain data downloaded from Internet as needed
  • Adjustable radar height, end range and vertical beam angle
  • Significant worldwide coverage (based on Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data)
  • Configurable target heights-of-interest using different colours
  • Fast update of coverage map as position or parameters are changed
  • Save display to file
  • Curvature of earth consideration
  • Adjustable brightness and contrast of map and radar coverage
  • Metric or nautical units
  • Pro version available, supporting up to 10 radar locations
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